"Uncovering the true history, culture and heritage of chocolate in early America has always been a passion point for Mars and we currently work with over 130 living history sites, museums and educational institutions across the US and Canada to discover and share chocolate's historic journey," said Harold Schmitz, chief science officer, Mars, Incorporated. "With the awarding of the first annual Mars Chocolate History Grant we want to recognize partners that are dedicated to this shared vision and encourage others to join us as we continue to share chocolate's unique story."
Schmitz and Howard Yana-Shapiro, chief agricultural officer, Mars, Incorporated awarded grants, in the following categories:
- Academic Research Grant: $5,000
- Winner: Ball State University
- New Chocolate Programming Grant: $10,000 each
- Winner: Fort Ticonderoga for their entry for a new Foodways initiative called: Chocolate: The Taste of Liberty
- Winner: The Old North Foundation for the expansion of Captain Jackson's Chocolate Shoppe
In addition to the two official grant categories, Mars Chocolate North America awarded a special "Honorable Mention" prize of $3,000 to Old Salem Museum and Gardens for their advancements in the areas of chocolate programming.
Mars plans to award the grants on an annual basis and the submission period for the 2014 awards begins in June 2014 at www.AmericanHeritageChocolate.com. American Heritage Chocolate is an authentic line of products based on a recipe from the 18th century that was developed by Mars Chocolate North America to bring chocolate's sweet past to life for historic site visitors through chocolate history demonstrations, chocolate drink sampling and retail availability.